It has not taken long for the Riverside Elementary School community to welcome incoming principal Jaclyn Palone.

She already has received an invitation to a yard sale.

Palone, a Grove City resident and graduate of the Dublin City Schools' administration internship program, said she's honored by the outpouring of welcome she has received.

"I just feel really, really thankful," she said.

The district's school board approved Palone for the position June 8. She will replace Staci Lutz, who, Superintendent Todd Hoadley said, is leaving the education field to work in her family business near Cleveland.

Hoadley said Lutz, whose contract ends July 31, has been a valued member of the Dublin administration team.

"We hate to see Staci go," he said.

Palone, who has been assistant principal at Indian Run Elementary School since 2018, will begin her new role at Riverside on Aug. 1, Hoadley said.

As assistant principal, her salary was $93,304, and her benefits package is valued at $27,991, for a total compensation of $121,295. Her salary as principal will be $100,067, with a benefits package of about $30,020, for a total compensation of $130,087, according to district spokesman Doug Baker.

The district received 60 applicants for the position that was open to internal and external candidates, Hoadley said. Palone was chosen from three finalists, he said.

Hoadley said Palone's strong background in literacy -- she's trained in a dyslexia-instructional-delivery method known as Orton Gillingham -- will make Dublin's entire administration team stronger.

He also said he appreciates the variety in her educational background. Palone was trained as a musician during her undergraduate education.

"We very much believe in a well-rounded educational experience for our students," Hoadley said.

Palone, 42, said she fell in love with music while attending school and became an operatic singer.

She has a bachelor's degree in vocal performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a master's degree in vocal performance from Temple University.

In between earning her degrees, Palone said, she did some substitute teaching and really enjoyed it.

Palone said for part of her childhood, her family was low-income, so she grew to appreciate school as a safe space, with a structured, predictable schedule.

As an adult, she realized she appreciated being able to provide a similar security and education to children, she said.

She was accepted into the Philadelphia Teaching Fellows program -- a spin-off of Teach for America -- and soon changed paths to become a special-education teacher.

She earned an education administration license from Ohio State University and has a master's degree in elementary and special education from Eastern University.

Prior to joining the Dublin district, Palone was director of special education with Kipp Journey Academy from 2010 to 2012.

She served as intervention specialist at Thomas Elementary School from 2012-2015, then an instructional-support teacher providing reading support from 2015 to 2016.

From 2016 to 2018, she served as administration intern at Deer Run Elementary School.

Palone said she appreciates how Riverside celebrates diversity culturally, socially and economically.

"Riverside just seemed a great fit for me," she said.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah